Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Meet James Canlas: 17-year old Fil-Canadian basketball player

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Meet James Canlas: 17-year old Fil-Canadian basketball player
by rick olivares

All eyes were glued on 17-year old James Canlas, the Filipino-Canadian from Toronto, Canada who has received interest from two US NCAA Division One schools.

The 6’2” Canlas is part of the Durham Crossover team from Toronto that is one of two foreign guest squads participating in the 2016 SM-Nationabl Basketball Training Center championships from March 13-17 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Unfortunately for Canlas’ Durham Crossover five, they suffered a heartbreaking loss to Chiang Kai Shek College in the tournament opener, 62-60, after the latter’s John Galinto scored on a lay-up with 0.9 of a second left. Canlas had one last desperation heave from center-court but the shot went long.

The loss spoiled the Philippine soil debut of this much-ballyhooed player who finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals against 5 turnovers (in 36 minutes of play).

Rick: Can you tell us something about yourself? 

James: My name is James Canlas, and I’m from Toronto, Canada. I live in a predominantly Filipino neighborhood with my family. I play for the Northern Kings club in Canada (AAU basketball).

Rick: We hear that you are being offered scholarships to play in US Division One schools. What schools are that and what are your prospects?

James: Yeah, it’s nice to get some attention because this will mean much to my family and I since we get to go to a good college and play some ball. The schools are Oakland University in Michigan (Horizon Conference) and Binghamton University (American East Conference) in New York. Right now, we’re just talking. But I’m excited. We’ll know for soon where I’ll be going. 

Rick: We also hear that some Philippine colleges are interested in acquiring your services. Any truth to that?

James: There are a few that have made inquiries. Right now, the main focus is to play ball in the US. If it doesn’t work out we’ll see about the opportunities for coming over here.

Rick: How do you size up the competition here (in this SM-NBTC tournament)?

James: That team (Chiang Kai Shek College) is real good. They hustle a lot. They play very good defense. What I like about them is they are fearless. They have my respect. They can ball.

Scouting Report on James Canlas
Primarily a shooting guard but can also play the point of small forward.
Doesn’t box out with his arms as he makes use of great position and his athleticism. Against taller players he will have to learn how to do that.
Offensive rebounding: Not bad. Will go after his own miss if he attacks. But since he oft plays outside, there isn’t much he can do.
Good one-on-one. Penetrates when there’s daylight.
Can dribble the ball.
Can lay-up with either hand
Can shoot.
Has very good defensive instincts. 
I like his willingness to pass the ball and hit the open man. In fact, he passes well.

With James Canlas!

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